Using Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals for today

Saul Alinsky. Fight

Always remember the first rule of power tactics: Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have — Saul Alinsky – Rules for Radicals

Trump lost the popular vote. Trumpsters should be constantly reminded of this. They do not have a mandate. Left / liberals / progressives have thousands of organizations as well as congressmembers on its side. Silicon Valley and many large corporations mostly are too, at least as far as diversity, equal rights, and feminism goes. They aren’t going back.

In addition, many Trumpsters will soon enough become disillusioned with him. Some already are. They are potential short-term allies and can be highly effective because they can reach people the left can’t hope to.

The left also has the ability to put hundreds of thousands in the streets. Protests do have an effect. Richard Nixon said at the time that anti-Vietnam War protests had no effect of him. Years later it came out Nixon looked at an antiwar protest of one million in the streets of DC outside the White House and said to aides, we’re screwed. In current news, the South Korea president is about to resign in large part due to huge, unending protests against her. People in the streets is always a good idea when you are out of power and want to create change.

Beyond the actual power we have, which is considerable, is the power the enemy thinks we might have. Protest terrifies the right and they don’t understand, as witness the ludicrous claims that Soros financed the recent anti-Trump protests. If protest confuses them, we should certainly do much more of it.

Now is the time to figure out what power we have and how to use it. Please, no more terrified posts about how horrendous Trump might be. Instead, spend that time building power and organizations to oppose him. You’ll feel better when you do.


  1. While we all recognize that protests can attract new adherents to a cause, they need huge masses to become effective for change and that fact is that some of the progressive causes just do not attract the right kind of numbers. Most importantly, the population of the US is not convinced that climate change requires immediate action. The issues with No DAPL attract protestors as a social justice issue, not because we need to leave the oil in the ground. The actions in Oregon District Court and the ruling by Judge Ann Adkins is likely to be more important in the long run.

    • There may well be lots of issues to organize and protest on. Immigration and deportation could be huge because of the millions directly impacted by it. Everyone should do whatever they can

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